Tablets

Good Miix of features, but dated

The Lenovo Miix 700's 12-inch screen looks good with excellent viewing angles.
The Lenovo Miix 700's 12-inch screen looks good with excellent viewing angles.PHOTO: LENOVO

The Lenovo Miix 700 is a tablet that can become a laptop by attaching a keyboard cover.

It takes more than a few design cues from its rival, the Microsoft Surface Pro 4. The most obvious one might be with the keyboard cover.

Like the Surface's Type Cover, it has a magnetic strip that attaches to the bottom bezel of the device. This simple feature elevates the keyboard for a better typing experience, and at the same time, steadies the device when it is used on the lap.

But the magnets on the Surface are stronger compared to the Miix. And although the Miix's full-sized keyboard cover provides decent key travel, it does not have a backlight like the Surface Type Cover. It also does not feel as sturdy.

But Lenovo includes the keyboard with the Miix, unlike Microsoft, which charges $199 for its Type Cover keyboard.

  • TECH SPECS

    PRICE: $1,999

    PROCESSOR: Intel Core m7-6Y75 (1.2GHz)

    GRAPHICS: Intel HD Graphics 515

    RAM: 8GB

    SCREEN SIZE: 12 inches, 2,160 x 1,440 pixels

    CONNECTIVITY: 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x micro-HDMI, microSD card slot, headphone jack

    BATTERY: 40 watt-hour

  • RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 3/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5

    BATTERY LIFE: 4/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

Both the Surface and the Miix have built-in kickstands that can open to multiple angles. But Lenovo has added a touch of flair by using the watchband-like hinge from its Yoga devices for the Miix's kickstand. This extra bling is complemented by the Miix's gold finish.

The Miix's 12-inch screen looks good with excellent viewing angles. But its 2,160 x 1,440 pixel screen resolution is identical to the Surface Pro 3. The display for the Surface Pro 4 is 2,736 x 1,824 pixels. It also has a much thinner bezel compared to the Miix.

Like the Surface Pro 4, the Miix comes with an active stylus that lets you scribble on the device. Its pen holder conveniently slots into the Miix's USB slot.

But the Surface Pen is better. It attaches magnetically to the side of the tablet and has a useful eraser function. More importantly, its button can be used to open the Microsoft OneNote app and Windows 10's Cortana personal assistant.

Unfortunately, both pens have higher latency than the Apple Pencil, which means there is some lag between the act of writing and having your scrawls show up on the screen.

The Miix uses an Intel Core m7 chip that is slower than the standard Intel CPU found in notebooks. In the PCMark 8 system benchmark test, the Miix scored 2,047 compared to 2,307 for an Intel Core i5-powered Surface Pro 4.

But the difference is minimal during use. The Miix feels responsive and apps load promptly because it has a 256GB solid-state drive.

More importantly, the Miix runs silently because its m7 chip does not require a cooling fan. Of course, you can also configure the Surface Pro 4 with a similar Intel Core m3 processor, though this chip is not as fast as the Miix's m7 model.

The Miix lasted 5hr 40mins in our video loop battery test. This is about 40 minutes longer than the Surface Pro 4, but shorter than most ultrabooks.

  • Verdict: Lenovo's attempt at creating a Surface Pro competitor is more affordable than Microsoft's, especially with the bundled keyboard.
    But the Miix feels more comparable to the Surface Pro 3 rather than the Pro 4.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 03, 2016, with the headline 'Good Miix of features, but dated'. Print Edition | Subscribe